Today I met with Tony Pryce, grandson of William Carron. Carron was one of the few survivors of the Kennedy ‘ill-fated’ expedition to Cape York in 1848, and wrote a narrative of the trip. Relevant to us, he was employed as a plant collector between 1866 and 1875 by Charles Moore, and lived for a while in one of the Gardens’ cottages. He was probably also our first or second Librarian.
Carron collected extensively in northern New South Wales (he was an early critic of the over harvesting of Red Cedar), and visited Lord Howe Island with Moore in 1869.
Mr Pryce is collating all the information he can find on Carron’s life, right up to his death in Grafton in 1876. The Mitchell library holds manuscripts of Kennedy and notes and publications of Carron. The Royal Botanic Gardens library is sure to hold a few gems as well.
Historian Lionel Gilbert has written extensively on Carron’s life, although only some of it has been published.